The Resurrection Of The Sirens

Discussion in 'Black Men - Fathers - Brothers - Sons' started by Mike Ramey, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Resurrection Of The Sirens!

    As this month’s column opens, I can’t help but to reflect back on some of the ‘truths’ that ‘experts’ have thrown at men over the years:
    *Men WERE the enemy in public education: NOW we are welcomed because some female teachers can’t handle disciplinary problems. A male teacher doesn’t negotiate with unruly students--he TERMINATES.
    *Eggs WERE bad for you; NOW they are good for you!
    *Two-parent homes WERE bad for children; NOW they are the best role models for young people to learn about responsibility, staying away from drugs, and the need for hard work.
    *Public education WAS the pits; NOW it’s a great choice in a tight economy.
    *Dress Down Days at the office WERE the bomb; NOW just having a job to go to is the bomb!
    *Marriage WAS laughed at; NOW, even die-hard feminists, marginal singers and former lesbians are showing up with MEN, looking for a church, preacher, and a hail of rice!
    *Church WAS seen as ‘evil’; NOW even the government wants the church to pray for America!
    *Corporal Punishment WAS replaced with Ritalin in the schools; NOW we find out we don’t have enough money, to buy enough Ritalin, so it’s OK to spank your OWN kids, once again.
    *Women WERE encouraged to ignore their husbands, drop their kids off at daycare, and head off into the workplace to FIND themselves; NOW more women are dropping dead from heart attacks, strokes; suffering ulcers, alcoholism, drug addiction, divorces, and child support payments, (not to mention the assorted male and female perverts at daycare centers) being a housewife and mother are regaining their esteem.
    *Condoms and birth control WERE the cornerstones to ‘Safe Sex’; NOW we are told--albeit reluctantly--that the ‘Safest Sex’ is with your OWN husband, or wife.
    * Lastly, young adults WERE so sure that they understood life; NOW we’re being told that those from 20 to 25 are having their own ‘quarter-life’ crises and psychoses because THEY have to get a J-O-B.

    YOU CAN BE A MAN OF QUALITY WITHOUT EXPERTS!
    Brothers, I learned a long time ago that an expert is someone who may have a great publicity machine, but may not have that much in the way of truth and common-sense!
    While the impact of an expert is measured in direct proportion to how many books, videos, and seminar seats they can sell, the ACTUAL worth of an expert comes when he/she has to get home and try his/her theories out on their OWN families!
    We never get to see how well, or how poorly THEIR homes run.
    Think on this the next time you see Oprah, Montel, Rikki, or Jerry on TV!
    On the ship of manhood, out on the seas of real life, there are going to be folks who will tell you to steer your ship ‘over here’, or ‘over there’, just to get you to buy their ‘stuff’. However, they won’t be around to help you, if you crash on the rocks.
    They want your money, not your success.
    Just because someone has a TV show, is singing a nice tune and may be dressed to the nines and dripping with diamonds does NOT mean they have your best interests at heart.
    Kind of like the Sirens of old.

    A QUICK LESSON IN MYTHOLOGY:
    Who?
    I’ll be more than happy to explain.
    In mythology, a story is told of a group of women known as the ‘Sirens’. They lived on an island, and from all appearances, didn’t work. Their island was located right in the middle of a prime commercial maritime traffic zone. Ships would pass by all the time. However, due to the sharp, well-hidden reefs around the island, if one didn’t know where they were sailing, they could easily wind up destroyed.
    How could these lovely ladies survive without working?
    By getting someone else to support them.
    You may ask: Well, how could they manage this?
    By the simple art of--singing!
    The Sirens’ special skill was to sing such a beautiful song that the passing mariners of old would drive their ships towards their singing, and destroy themselves--and their ships--on the sharp rocks that surrounded their island. Then, the ladies would stop singing, and sort through the wreckage to find whatever they needed to sustain themselves.
    No taxes. No muss. No fuss. No men. And, few--if any--witnesses.
    Kind of like the ‘I can do better by myself’ syndrome, at the next level.
    One brave brother, a captain of skill and solid reputation had heard of the Sirens, and knew well of their destructive capabilities. He knew that he had to get past this maritime menace, so he made advance preparations for success.
    The captain told his crew, first, that a signal would be given for them to stuff their ears full of wax, and focus on getting the ship past the Sirens’ shoreline. Secondly, the captain ordered himself lashed to the mast, so he could hear the Sirens, and warn future captains as to what he had heard.
    As the ship approached the island area, the signal was given to the crew by the captain. Brothers, stuff your ears--and focus on the task at hand!
    Then, the singing began.
    The captain begged his crew to turn towards the song. The crew could not hear, and focused on getting past the Sirens song. He begged. He shouted. He threatened.
    But the brotherhood rowed on!
    Once they passed the danger zone, the crew unstopped their ears and cut the captain loose. His preparation had not only saved his own life, and the lives of his crew, but lived to warn others about the danger.
    Brothers, I’ll make it plain. (And, to you sisters who read my column, this part is for you too). Sometimes, one must just KEEP on rowing, no matter the cheers or jeers. Safe Harbor is always ahead of you; NOT behind you!

    THE GLOOMY HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING:
    Brothers, there are other kinds of Sirens out in our society.
    Not all of them are women.
    Their songs of doom and gloom are soothing to listen to, and keep you trapped on the outskirts of success. There are experts, talk show hosts, newspaper columnists, and government officials who live on seeing people’s lives destroyed with questionable advice.
    They coo: “It’s rough to get your education.”
    Their kids are at Yale, Oxford, or Fisk.
    They sing sweetly: “You’ll always be this way.”
    They have a medicine cabinet full of the latest ‘party’ drugs.
    They strum their harps of depression and softly say: “You have a right to be bitter against (fill in the blank) for not getting that (fill in the blank).”
    They are about to head to court for their third, fourth, or fifth divorce--IF they ever got married in the first place.
    Resist their songs and tales of woe.
    Nothing in life comes without WORK. Whether it be a relationship, a career, a relationship, a job, or a home. You HAVE to work, work, and work some more!
    The only place success appears before work is in the dictionary!
    There are businesses out there waiting for you to start them. There are quality women out there, waiting for a quality man to find them. There are inventions out there, undiscovered, waiting for you to discover them.
    Now is not the time to ‘Tap Out’ on life. Now is the time to climb back into the ring, and try it once again. Yes, you may have failed, the first ten, twenty, or thirty times you have tried. But it only takes one more attempt to become a legend.

    Mike Ramey is the author of ‘The Manhood Line’, a monthly, syndicated column for men, written from a biblical, business, and common-sense perspective. To correspond, email to: [email protected]. (C) 2001 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications (29).
     
  2. Joyce

    Joyce Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Enjoyed the read on this. Life is like a circle sometimes. The things that were forsaken are now accepted. The things that were accepted are now forsaken. God is ever doing a new thang...However, He remains the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He too, is like a circle in that there is no beginning or ending point. WoW...now that's deep. :) His stability is my security.

    Joyce
     
  3. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Life comes in CANS

    Thanks Joyce!

    I'm just amazed at how many people are quick to tell someone they CAN'T do something, but WON'T tell them WHY?

    Then the SAME people cry about 'no community bond?'

    Mike Ramey
     
  4. Joyce

    Joyce Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Mike, you said: "Resist their songs and tales of woe.
    Nothing in life comes without WORK. Whether it be a relationship, a career, a relationship, a job, or a home. You HAVE to work, work, and work some more!"

    Question: Could this be part of the reason (not to mention drugs) why so many young males are not wanting to hold down a job these days. I am speaking of young males (parents with money to pay tuition or better yet free scholarships) who can go to college, but instead all they want to do is ride around, bumping their rap music and sexing girls. This is a very distrubing trend within the all ready "fiber weakened" community of African Americans.
     
  5. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'll tell you the reason...

    First, let me warm this up a little bit, and warn some folks that it may get a little heated in here...

    Part of the problem is that some have been far to concerned about 'self esteem' and not 'plain old truth'. Yes, culture and society have gotten worse...but many, many, many parents have been too concerned about having their daughters succeed, and letting their sons roam. Many parents then get 'shocked' when the daughter shows up on their doorstep with the neighborhood drug dealer, because she has been conditioned to 'go for the cash' instead of 'going for character'.

    Now, we have seen the rise of the 'sexually aggressive female' in the rap videos and movies. That Khil song you (or maybe someone else) wrote about in a previous post on another section of the forum is on line, word for word. I checked out the song, and COULD NOT BELIEVE that LITTLE girls are singing this garbage...and their parents LET them.

    It STARTS in the HOME. If Mama and Papa are still drinking, drugging and chasing...HOW DO YOU THINK THE KIDS ARE GOING TO TURN OUT?

    Go to your LOCAL juvenile court, and see what has been produced from families who don't follow raising their kids the right way. In MY neck of the woods, the girls are getting locked up as fast, if not faster, than the boys!

    Joyce, you have put a good one on the table.

    But let's not forget that we have had the same forces working against us for a long time. It won't change, unless WE are willing to take a firm grip on our children, and tell them...and show them by OUR conduct and example that you DON'T have to have a RAP CD to prove your worth. God has already created you for great things.

    Mike Ramey
     
  6. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Real Battle...

    Joyce, it fires me up when I realize that the REAL battle in our communities is right against wrong! WE have progressed as a people ONLY when we have firmly HELD onto GOD'S unchanging Hand.

    NOW we have people who have been raised in church, and have LEFT because of one reason or another, thinking that they know more than GOD because they have 'found themselves' in entertainment, sex, Islam, Afrocentrism, or one of the other forms of darkness out there for public consumption.

    If a YOUNG MAN is not TAUGHT how he has an OBLIGATION to work, then pampered by his mother, his girlfriend, and his sisters, and has his hair braided, a diamond stud in his ear, and has no employment skills, he is going to turn into a PUNK! One who WILL NOT work. One who has been taught that the MONEY is the only thing that matters!

    MY first job was at the age of 10, helping sub a newspaper route when I was growing up. In my teens, in the summers, I worked maintenance at the local swimming pool (and still know how to keep a pool clean, from filling to emptying). While in college, I helped to pay my way by working summers and winters and breaks and while on campus. If I am NOT working, I am looking for work! That's how my parents taught me...and they BOTH worked. AND I was not rasied in a Christian home; but there WAS a God-given fear for parental authority.

    Many kids AINT scared of their parents, today!
    Many parents AINT scared of God, today!

    AGAIN...You have to train up a child the way they SHOULD go. Mama taught me how to cook, clean, and sew! Papa taught me how to work and support and provide. WHY? Because THEY KNEW that I would eventually leave home, and have to WORK in society.

    Many parents exepect everyone else to give their kids the tools for success. If parents DON'T, society WON'T

    Mike Ramey
     
  7. ZeroGravity

    ZeroGravity Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hey Mike, good post. I concur with most of what you stated. What I've seen more so than not when it comes to challenged parent/child relationships is not so much that kids ain't scared of their parents today, but I would say...kids don't respect their parents today.

    I gone to juvenile court and like you said it's very disheartening to see wall to wall (standing room only) kids, so young being charged with doing any and everything.
     
  8. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    On Point, As Usual ZeroGravity...

    ZG: What makes it even worse is that I work in Juvie and have to see this stuff EVERYDAY!

    The GOOD news is that ONLY five to ten percent of the kids in trouble make it to court. Many of our kids are 'alright'. But, on the SAD side, I am finding that I not only have to work with the juvenile clients...I have to ALSO teach their parents, HOW to be parents.

    ZG--It's amazing how many kids are more interested in Hip Hop than putting something in their brains. And their parents let them go on down the street.

    Ran into a friend who is a part-time caseworker for Welfare/Child Protection. SEES parents who run dope houses with their kids involved in the sales. She cries, because she knows eventually someone is gonna break out the guns.

    And, all WE can do is wait for the Coroner to show up!

    Mike Ramey
     
  9. ZeroGravity

    ZeroGravity Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    EVERYDAY?? ...

    Brother I applaud you! I don't think I could do that everyday. The couple of times I was there were more than I would want to see.

    You're right and I hope we don't loose that perspective that the majority of our children are living out their childhood enjoying the things life has to offer. We don't hear or see enough of the brilliance being produced in our schools. Good is being overshadowed with bad to the point that we walk away with the feeling that there is nothing but bad things and trouble in this world. Quite the contrary.

    You would think that people would get tired of waiting for the coroner to show up huh?
     
  10. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    No, I should applaud YOU!

    ZeroGrav: I should applaud you, and anyone who is making a difference in the lives of young people...especially our own!

    WE forget how hard it is to be a child these days. However hard the path is, truth is something that is needed! :eek: WE lose out when we let 'self-esteem' replace 'truth'.

    I told one of my clients recently that self-esteem, Ritalin, therapy, and a lot of our 'modern' ailments were only created in the last ten or so years. I've been hearing the talk that some therapy/counseling organizations are actually working to construct their own 'private' schools in order to keep EDH, LD, EH, etc. kids in an environment where they will receive constant care while learning their ABCs.

    Have we really slipped a few rungs on the ladder, or what?

    Mike Ramey
     
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